What is Going on in Washington: Debt Ceiling & Budget Negotiations ContinueAugust 2 is the deadline by which Congress must agree to raise the debt limit or the country will risk defaulting on its debt obligations. Negotiations on this issue continue to overshadow most other issues on Capitol Hill as the Republican leadership in the House does not want to raise the debt ceiling without agreeing to spending cuts, but no new taxes. Read more.
White House Seeking Increased Funding for NIHAlthough most news leaking from negotiations to raise the nation's debt ceiling and reduce the federal deficit have focused on potential cuts to federal spending, a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal discusses spending priorities identified by the Obama administration, including a proposal made during the administration's negotiations with Congress to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $10 billion over the next 10 years. Read more.
Update on Hematologic Drug Shortages: ASH Posts Information & Resources for PhysiciansThe United States is continuing to experience severe shortages of drugs used to treat patients with hematologic malignancies, including leukemia and lymphoma. An increasing number of physicians have been forced to take their patients off therapies mid-treatment, delay treatment, choose alternative therapies that are less effective, and ration their remaining supplies of these therapies. ASH has taken several steps to resolve these drug shortages, including alerting and working with the Food & Drug Administration and Congress. Read the latest update on the status of hematologic drug shortages, ASH advocacy efforts, and resources for physicians dealing with shortages.
Appeals Continue in Court Case on Federally Funded Embryonic Stem Cell Research; New Legislation Introduced in the HouseThe parties involved in the ongoing court case challenging federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research each recently filed supplemental briefs in response to an April Court of Appeals ruling that the Obama administration and the NIH can continue using federal tax dollars to fund human embryonic stem cell research. Meanwhile, Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Charles Dent (R-PA) recently introduced H.R. 2376, a bill which seeks to codify the current NIH embryonic stem cell research guidelines. Read more.
U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Health-Care Overhaul LawIn the first ruling by a federal appeals court on President Obama's health care overhaul, a panel in Cincinnati affirmed on June 29 that Congress can require Americans to have minimum insurance coverage. Read more.
NIH Director Outlines NCATS Vision in a CommentaryIn a commentary published July 6 in the journal Science Translational Medicine, NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins set forth NIH's vision for advancing translational science. The commentary provides a detailed description of the scientific goals and functions of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a proposed new entity of NIH that will strive to reengineer the process of developing drugs, diagnostics, and devices. Read more.
Controversy Continues on NCATS Development; Congressman Asks NIH to Halt Search for Center DirectorCongressman Dennis Rehberg (R-MT), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, has written to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expressing concerns about the creation of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and suggested that the NIH "cease all action" related to establishing the new center. Read more.
ASH Announces First ASH Advocacy Leadership Institute – Nominations Now Being AcceptedASH is proud to announce the initiation of its Advocacy Leadership Institute. This is a unique opportunity for ASH members to come to Washington, DC to learn about legislation and health policy affecting hematology. Nominations are currently being accepted through August 15, 2011. Read more.
National Conference on Blood Disorders in Public Health Abstract Submission Now OpenASH, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Blood Disorders, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and Hemophilia of Georgia, will be hosting the second National Conference on Blood Disorders in Public Health on March 12-14, 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia. The purpose of this conference is to further advance the public health context described during the inaugural National Conference on Blood Disorders in Public Health (March 2010) and to promote the adoption and full integration of evidenced-based and evidenced-informed public health functions that are capable of promoting the health of and improving outcomes among people with a blood disorder. Abstract submission for the conference is now open through August 31, 2011. To learn more about the conference and the abstract submission process visit the conference website.
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